Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America believes that our nation and our foreign policy are stronger when we welcome refugees and those seeking a better life in the United States. That is why we are so disappointed to see reports that President Biden appears set to break his pledge to raise the refugee admission cap for FY 2021.
During his administration, President Trump drastically decreased the refugee cap, reaching a historically low number of just 15,000 in FY 2021. After taking office, President Biden originally stated he planned to reverse Trump’s actions and raise this year’s cap from 15,000 to 62,500 and then up to 125,000 for FY 2022. Today’s reports indicate a sharp turn away from his previous commitments.
We understand reversing all of Trump’s cruel and inhumane immigration policies could take time, but raising the refugee cap is something that President Biden could have done now. And is in fact something he committed to do now. Nothing can make up for the four years of xenophobia and “America first” rhetoric that we witnessed under Trump, but the Biden administration had the chance to make a difference for the many refugees who have already been cleared to come to the U.S., but have been forced to sit by the last four years.
“I think this is just misguided politics,” said Foreign Policy for America Executive Director Andrew Albertson. “We’re not some small-minded country. Americans aren’t running around nervous about whether we have the capacity to take in women and children fleeing wars. We’re proud of being a welcoming country that has the ability to take in people seeking a safe haven. Welcoming those escaping conflict and persecution is not just the moral thing to do, it is good policy and makes our nation stronger.”